If you're into hacking your brain, or at least, changing the way you think in order to better yourself, you might want to check out Psychology Today's guide to the Top Ten Psychology Studies of 2010.
These instruction manuals -- so to speak -- cover everyday aspects from being happier, better managing one's time, having more willpower and, interestingly enough, a completely different view on how to break habits:
If you are trying to stop smoking, swearing, or chewing your nails, you have probably tried the strategy of distracting yourself -- taking your mind off whatever it is you are trying not to do -- to break the habit. You may also have realized by now that it doesn't work. Distraction is a great way to resist a passing temptation, but it turns out to be a terrible way to break a habit that has really taken hold.
That's because habit-behaviors happen automatically - often, without our awareness. So thinking about George Clooney isn't going to stop me from biting my nails if I don't realize I'm doing it in the first place.
What you need to do instead is focus on stopping the behavior before it starts (or, as psychologists tend to put it, you need to "inhibit" your bad behavior). According to research by Jeffrey Quinn and his colleagues, the most effective strategy for breaking a bad habit is vigilant monitoring - focusing your attention on the unwanted behavior to make sure you don't engage in it. In other words, thinking to yourself "Don't do it!" and watching out for slipups - the very opposite of distraction. If you stick with it, the use of this strategy can inhibit the behavior completely over time, and you can be free of your bad habit for good.
There is a catch to reading these studies: unless you have access to journals via your job or faculty, you'll have to settle for Psychology Today's synopsis and the abstract on the journals' site.
|"Scientists are predicting that we're on track for a sixth mass extinction."|
|Researchers Create Embryonic-Like Stem Cells Out of Regular Skin or Blood Cells|
|In Layman's Terms: Gravitational Waves|
|Duplicating Nature's Million-Year Process of Creating Crude Oil Down to Minutes in the Lab|
|“Self-driving trucks will begin hauling mail between USPS facilities.”|
|“For the first time in the history of life, we can affect the future of our evolution.”|
|“A two-legged robot created by Agility Robotics, designed to get your delivery from a car to your door.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Recycled Vacuum Lamps|
|U.S.S. Enterprise Owner's Manual|
|“A deep fake sex video emerges in a Google search of your name.”|
|Naked Preacher Lady [NSFW]|
|“A driverless electric truck began daily freight deliveries on a public road.”|
|“The company is losing billions, has essentially no underlying value, and its business could be hammered overnight.”|
|“We are undergoing the greatest economic transformation in our history, and we are dealing with it by pretending nothing is happening.”|